Seven die in shoot­ing in Mex­ico’s Riviera Maya re­sort city of Playa del Car­men

StarMetro Edmonton - - CANADA & WORLD - Mark Steven­son

Po­lice at a night­club in Playa del Car­men, part of a re­sort area see­ing more vi­o­lence. MEX­ICO CITY—Seven men have been killed in a shoot­ing at­tack at a bar in Mex­ico’s Caribbean coast re­sort city of Playa del Car­men, author­i­ties said Mon­day.

State and lo­cal po­lice said the at­tack oc­curred late Sun­day at the “Las Vir­ginias” bar in a low-in­come sec­tion rel­a­tively far from the beach­side tourist zone. Six men were found shot to death in the bar, and an­other died at a lo­cal hospi­tal.

One man was wounded but sur­vived the at­tack. He told po­lice he was drink­ing beer with friends when gun­shots broke out.

The at­tack­ers have not yet been iden­ti­fied.

Playa del Car­men is lo­cated on the coast fac­ing the is­land of Cozumel, Mex­ico’s lead­ing cruise ship des­ti­na­tion.

Once a quiet fish­ing and ferry town, Playa del Car­men has grown ex­po­nen­tially in the last two decades, with lower-in­come neigh­bour­hoods spring­ing up on the in­land side of the coastal high­way.

The re­sort is mid­way be­tween Can­cun, to the north, and Tu­lum, to the south, in the coastal state of Quin­tana Roo, which has seen homi­cides more than dou­ble in the last year, with 688 killings in the first 11 months of 2018, com­pared to 322 in the same pe­riod of 2017.

The Caribbean coast — es­pe­cially Can­cun and the area south known as the “Riviera Maya” — had long been largely spared the drug vi­o­lence af­fect­ing other ar­eas, but that no longer ap­pears to be the case.

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